We analyse from a corporate finance point of view the latest round of financing for Lingokids, an application that allows children to learn English. Sabadell Venture Capital is one of the investors in this financing round.
Lingokids is a startup that is focused on children and their learning of English. They offer different activities from their online platform where children between 2 and 8 years old can learn this universal language in a didactic and entertaining way.
It was founded under the name Monkimun in 2014 by Cristóbal Viedma (current CEO of the company) in Madrid. However, since 2016 it has been known as Lingokids and its application currently has more than 7 million users and is used in more than 180 countries around the world. This high number of users represents a year-on-year growth of 300% since 2016.
The idea of developing an app for learning English came from Cristobal Viedma's niece, Marieta. The company's CEO searched and downloaded apps to try to teach his two-year-old niece English lessons, but found that none of them were really effective for learning English. That's why Cristobal programmed his own app. When he noticed that the app was getting a lot of downloads, his friend Dave McClure (founder of the 500 Startups business accelerator in Silicon Valley) offered him an initial investment. At the end of the acceleration programme, they raised their first round of investment and opened their office in Madrid.
On 2 October 2018, a $7.3 million funding round has been completed for Lingokids. The total funding includes $1.3 million from Horizon 2020, a programme that funds research and innovation projects in various thematic areas in the European context. The remaining $6 million was raised through a Series A financing round, which includes the following investors: Sabadell Venture Capital (investment vehicle of Banco Sabadell), Holtzbrinck Ventures, JME Venture Capital, BigSur Ventures, Reach Capital, All Iron Ventures, Athos Capital and a business angel such as Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX.
Lingokids has raised to date more than 10 million dollars in funds. In addition to those recently mentioned, these funds include Dave McClure's 500 startups, the founding partners of K-Fund, SHO-zemi Innovation Ventures (a branch of Japan's leading network of mentoring schools, SHO-zemi) and Singapore's Incuvest.
One of the main objectives that Lingokids has set itself is to become the Netflix of Englishpositioning itself as an iconic brand for children. With the investments received, the company aims to increase its team of professionals, develop new features for the app and double its original content offering to more than 2,000 learning activities by the end of 2019. And it's not just for kids, as parents will also have a revamped section within the platform, providing new interactive content and improved voice recognition features.
Within the e-learning sector there are a number of companies with large rounds. The most prominent is VipKidThe China-based company, which has been offering online learning of American primary education to Chinese students aged 4 to 12 since 2013, has received a total of $825 million in various investments and has grown exponentially. It has received a total of 825 million dollars in various investments and exponentially. The latest and most powerful one stands out, made on 27 April 2018 with an amount of 500 million dollars.
Second on the list is Age of Learning. Located in California, this company has been educating children online since 2007. The most powerful round was in May 2016, when they raised 150 million dollars, accumulating a total of 181.5 million dollars.
Finally, we talked about the startup Yogome. It was founded in Mexico in 2010 with the aim of designing, developing and marketing educational superhero games. Over the last few years it has received several investments, accumulating 36.5 million dollars from the United States, Europe and some Asian countries. However, the company is currently closed since, according to the article published by the Mexican online newspaper Códigoespagueti.comThe company was accused of fraud for "mismanagement" by the management in terms of the investments received. Yogome has been closed since the beginning of October this year and the only information obtained about its closure comes from what has been published by its workers on social networks.